Roof collapse is one of the deadliest hazards of being in the mine business. It is good to have a look at factors that can cause roof failure in order to prevent it from happening in the future. Collapse and damage are caused by many things. It can be caused naturally by the way the mine is formed naturally or the way it has been dug out of the ground. It has been studied that most causes of roof collapse are mostly due to feeble roof structure.
Some causes of roof collapse are influx of water into the roof structure of the mine, undermining the structure. Collapse can also be caused by too much pressure on the mine roof and defective mine roof structuring. Bolts holding the mine roof together can be compromised if the rock formation to which it is attached is weak.
It is also good to note whether there is the presence of water in the rock formations like shale. If water collects there, pressure from the water will cause the rocks to move or break and this makes the roof lose it’s holding strength.
Most roof collapses are avoidable. In previous tragic events, deaths and injuries happened due to miners being in an area that have had roofs that haven’t been properly supported by roof bolts yet. To prevent these in the future which is really difficult because every mine is different, a real thorough study of the geological makeup of the proposed mine must be done. Then a design should be made that minimizes the risk of roof collapse in the area. It is also a good idea to use roof screening that keeps the roof structure together. The screen provides more support and usually holds falling rocks in place giving time for miners to escape. Studies have shown that injuries due to roof collapse have decreased because of installation of mine roof screens.
In short, lives can be saved by taking careful precautions when it comes to structuring mine roofs. Certified Roofing specialists should be consulted before digging mines. Anchors should be properly bolted in to the right rock formation to hold the heavy geological roof in place. It is also wise to study previous mine roof collapses to learn about why they happened and how they can be prevented in the future. It is good to look at examples of roof collapses from different regions, different countries, and different geological areas. A lot of information can be gleaned from it to be able to design mines better and make them safer for the hard-working miners.